The majority of morphological aspects
are in regression: the increase of ís in the present indicative of third
conjugation inchoative verbs, in conjunction with the verbal increase eix (llegisso/llegeixo),
the lack of a final vowel in the conditional ending (faltarí/faltaria), the
particle se before a question (pregunta-li se quant val) or the use of se
with the conditional conjunction (se plou molt, no vindrem), the use of per a,
in contraction through agglutination per + a = pra, with a value of finality
(pra jo), the use of jo instead of mi as the verbal complement (No
va fer res per jo), the use of molla as quantitative (no nhi ha molla)
and the use of cap to form a double negative (No ho sé cap).
(3) Characteristics of Lleidatà in the speech of the Conca de Tremp.
There are two important aspects
from a phonetic point of view: the pronunciation /e/ of tonic ee before t, s, r,
and /e / for final a in adjectives and nouns: collit[e ],
sol[e ]. Thus, we hear the pronunciation
[e], alternating with [e], of the third
person of the present indicative, the first and third persons of the imperfect indicative
and the conditional indicative, which differs from the [a] of Pallarès and the [e]/[e]
distinction in Lleidatà. The ALDC notes this distinction of [e]
in the first person singular / [e] the third person singular in informants of the
two towns surveyed in the Conca de Tremp. According to data of the corpus and that
detected by Casanovas & Creus (1999) in younger speakers of the area of Lleidatà,
this distinction could start to disappear in favour of [e]. This tendency
is reproduced in the pronunciation of morphemes of unmarked gender such as ista,
although the distinction appears to be maintained in the case of aire. We
should also point out the maintenance ofu in feminine possessives,
characteristic of western speech, with the same vocalic timbre as Lleidatà [mewE],
(4) Lexical characteristics
specific to the speech of the Conca de Tremp.
Quite simply, we would like to
comment on the fact that the differences in inventory are, in the majority of cases,
limited to phonetic variants, formal variants or semantic extensions.
As a whole, the speech of the
Conca de Tremp reveals the general characteristics of north-western Catalan in its tonic
vowel system and in articulatory contexts where Pallarès is characterised by a systematic
opening to [e]. In the area of atonic vocalism, we
should point out the pronunciation [e] of final a in nouns and
adjectives, the endings of the third person of the present indicative and of the first and
third persons of the imperfect indicative and the conditional. The corpus includes cases
of oscillation with [e] in the third person of the present indicative and, sporadically,
pronunciations in [a], due to the influence of Pallarès. Other general phonetic
characteristics of north-western Catalan are maintained, particularly those less marked,
such as [a] in groups with initial e in syllables ending in a consonant,
affrication of the voiceless prepalatal sibilant [tf] and
pronunciation of the semivowel [j] before a prepalatal fricative. Other consonantal
characteristics include the majority pronunciation of the bl,gl
groups as approximants whilst at morphosyntactic level, we should mention the voicing of
k in demonstratives, characteristic of Pallarès and Ribagorçà; and
the maintenance of w in feminine possessives, characteristic of western
speech. There is a greater tendency to substitute elements of nominal morphology
(particularly those connoted as the etymological forms lo/los of the masculine
definite article, full forms of pronouns in units or combinations), basically for forms
coinciding with the standard language and/or central Catalan (for a more detailed
description, see Romero, 2001: 55-77).
Processes of linguistic change and variation: an analysis of some representative cases
Linguistic variables and groups of explanatory factors
We have mentioned the
importance of our bibliographical sources, preliminary studies and available sociological
data on the speech community in determining the most significant linguistic and
explanatory variables. The morphological features studied in terms of their geographical
distribution in Catalan at the present time are:
The linguistic variable
corresponding to demonstrative adjectives, in which general variants of proximity and
remoteness (aquest, aquell) alternate with the voiced and spirantized variants (aguest,
aguell), characterised by uncertain origin and a lack of presence in the written
language. This is the most local feature, limited to the Ribagorçanopallarès area and
the Conca de Tremp;
The linguistic variable
corresponding to the masculine definite article, which analyses the occurrence of full (lo,
los) and reinforced (el, els) variants of this element before words beginning
with a consonant. It is currently used in the area of north-western Catalan.
The variable depending on the
first person plural weak pronoun, observed in both proclitic and enclitic positions,
alternating between the general variant (ens, -nos) and the analogical variant (mos).
It is now found basically in the western area.
The linguistic variable
corresponding to the singular weak personal pronouns in proclitic position deals with the
occurrence of the full (me, te, se) and reinforced (em, et, es) variants.
Nowadays, this characteristic is mainly circumscribed to north-western and Balearic areas.
The variable depending on
possessive adjectives alternates between variants in u (meua, teua,
seua) and v (meva, teva, seva) in the feminine forms. It is
found generally, except in central Catalan.
The patrimonial variants of the
features analysed were common to the whole of the linguistic domain, except for the case